GE opens drivetrain repair lab

General Electric has opened its Global Wind Turbine Drivetrain Repair Innovation Lab in New York State that will support fast development and innovation for repairs to wind turbine gearboxes and rotors.

GE says the facility is equipped with advanced technologies, creating a lab environment to simulate and solve problems that previously had to be worked on more than 100 meters in the air and at remote sites.

Technical capabilities of the Innovation Lab include:

*Rapid prototyping tools such as 3D printers and computer numerical control machines.

*Robotic welding and advanced machining tools.

*Repair of various gearbox models and turbine generator repair.

“This is the first facility of its kind dedicated to developing repair technologies and capabilities that reduce the life cycle cost of wind turbines,” according to Andy Holt, general manager of global wind projects and services.

GE says the lab aligns the company with customer needs by helping reduce maintenance and operating costs.

GE engineers will have the space and resources to rapidly prototype and develop new technologies to apply to field service repairs. The team will focus on innovative approaches while fully vetting tooling and processes, keeping in mind safety, cost and the ability to address multi-unit configurations

The lab is near GE’s renewable energy headquarters, which will facilitate collaboration with product engineering to improve servicability, the company says.